Reformation Ink | 2000 | Shane Rosenthal
As a Baptist, a "reformed". 5-Point. Doctrines of Grace Baptist, I see the Lord's Supper as nothing more than a remembrance of Christ's suffering. "This do in remembrance of Me." There is no special presence of Christ in this observance, since He is already present in the lives of believers and in their midst corporately.
Since I've became a 5-point Reformer (attending a Southern Baptist Church), I'm interested in the history of where all these church beliefs and customs started from. It is my view the church slowly digress from the original teachings until the Reformation corrected the situation. I’m sure Calvin and Luther would agree. :O)
Much of Luther’s and Calvin’s beliefs stemmed from the early church fathers but while I have just started reading Reformed literature, I hesitate to use these works exclusively. From time-to-time I like to post articles (Reformed or not) I find particularly interesting on the history of the church.
Further information about the Eucharist:
Pope Gelasius (400+ AD) recognized the Eucharist both ways. (www.newadvent.org)
The Eucharist was controversial as late at the 9th century as stated in this article.
Transubstantiation became finalized in the Catholic Church at the fourth Lateran Council in 1215. (ref: http://www.justforcatholics.org/a34.htm)
The Council of Trent in 153? banned Ratramnus publications especially his views on the Eucharist from circulation. This was later rescinded in the 1900s. (www.newadvent.org)
Luk 22:15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
Luk 22:16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
Luk 22:17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide [it] among yourselves:
Luk 22:18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
Luk 22:19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
Luk 22:20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup [is] the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.
Mar 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake [it], and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.
Mar 14:23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave [it] to them: and they all drank of it.
Mar 14:24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.
Mar 14:25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.
Joh 13:31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
Joh 13:32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.
Joh 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.
Joh 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35 By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Mat 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it], and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
Mat 26:27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave [it] to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
"I have no taste for corruptible food nor for the pleasures of this life. I desire the bread of God, which is the flesh of Jesus Christ, who was of the seed of David; and for drink I desire his blood, which is love incorruptible" -- Letter to the Romans, 7:3, [110 AD]
"Take note of those who hold heterodox opinions on the grace of Jesus Christ which has come to us, and see how contrary their opinions are to the mind of God. . . . They abstain from the Eucharist and from prayer because they do not confess that the Eucharist is the flesh of our Savior Jesus Christ, flesh which suffered for our sins and which that Father, in his goodness, raised up again. They who deny the gift of God are perishing in their disputes" -- Letter to the Smyrnaeans, 6:2–7:1 [110 AD]
"We call this food Eucharist, and no one else is permitted to partake of it, except one who believes our teaching to be true and who has been washed in the washing which is for the remission of sins and for regeneration [i.e., has received baptism] and is thereby living as Christ enjoined. For not as common bread nor common drink do we receive these; but since Jesus Christ our Savior was made incarnate by the word of God and had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so too, as we have been taught, the food which has been made into the Eucharist by the Eucharistic prayer set down by him, and by the change of which our blood and flesh is nurtured, is both the flesh and the blood of that incarnated Jesus" -- First Apology, 66 [151 AD]
"If the Lord were from other than the Father, how could he rightly take bread, which is of the same creation as our own, and confess it to be his body and affirm that the mixture in the cup is his blood?" -- Against Heresies, 4:33–32 [189 A.D.]
"He has declared the cup, a part of creation, to be his own blood, from which he causes our blood to flow; and the bread, a part of creation, he has established as his own body, from which he gives increase unto our bodies. When, therefore, the mixed cup [wine and water] and the baked bread receives the Word of God and becomes the Eucharist, the body of Christ, and from these the substance of our flesh is increased and supported, how can they say that the flesh is not capable of receiving the gift of God, which is eternal life—flesh which is nourished by the body and blood of the Lord, and is in fact a member of him?" (ibid., 5:2)
Clement of Alexandria
"’Eat my flesh,’ [Jesus] says, ‘and drink my blood.’ The Lord supplies us with these intimate nutrients, he delivers over his flesh and pours out his blood, and nothing is lacking for the growth of his children" -- The Instructor of Children, 1:6:43:3 [191 AD]
The Bible is forthright in declaring Jesus is literally and wholly present - body and blood, soul and divinity - (cf. 1 Cor. 10:16–17, 11:23–29; and, most forcefully, John 6:32–71, where Christ speaks about the sacrament that will be instituted at the Last Supper ). The early Church Fathers interpreted these passages literally. Whatever else might be said, the early Church took John 6 literally. In fact, there is no record from the early centuries that implies Christians doubted the constant Catholic interpretation. There exists no document in which the literal interpretation is opposed and only the metaphorical accepted.
In summarizing the early Fathers’ teachings on Christ’s Real Presence, renowned Protestant patristics scholar, J. N. D. Kelly, writes: "Eucharistic teaching, it should be understood at the outset, was in general unquestioningly realist, i.e., the consecrated bread and wine were taken to be, and were treated and designated as, the Savior’s body and blood" (Early Christian Doctrines, 440; emphasis added).
Quite the opposite, actually: See Reply 8 above.
There apparently were two views by Radbertus and Ratramnus that must have been substantially different. Different enough that the council in 12?? made some kind of major decision and selection. Also the difference must have been significant for the Council of Trent to BAN Ratramnus' writings until 1900s.
If there wasn't any difference there wouldn't have been all this fuss.
Catholics don't deny that the Eucharist has symbolic meanings. But saying that something holds a symbolic meaning doesn't deny that it also holds a literal meaning. The literal interpretation has roots all the way back to the Bible (Exodus, actually).
The purely symbolic interpretation is a theological novelty that gained a foothold in the Reformation.
Being a evangelical christian for us the Lord supper represent the intaking of the Living Word of God, into us. The bread and the wine represent the Word of God as Jesus.
In John 6;53-58 These are the verse that has confuse so many. But in John 1:14 is the key to understanding what Jesus was referring to.
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. So when Jesus refered to eating is flesh and drinking his blood he was referring to the Word of God, the bible. When we read, study and meditate on the Word we are entering into communion with the Lord in Spirit. But that what many evangelical christian believe. I find the catholic doctrine on this subject different to say the least.
I have a hard time with that line of reasoning because I can't reconcile it with the actual words of John 6.
Jesus used very explicit words, and the Jews understood him literally. Jesus starts off using the Greek phago ("to eat") (Jn 6:49, 50, 52, 53), the typical word for eating, but one which can carry a symbolic meaning. But the Jews, having understood Him literally, are disturbed. Interestingly, Jesus ALWAYS explained things to the disciples. Jesus knows they are grumbling, so He changes verbs. He uses the Greek trogo (Jn 6:54, 56, 57, 58) which has the more vivid meaning "to chew, to gnaw" and so far as I can tell, is never used symbolically. Jesus did not say "You knuckleheads, you took me literally." He explained his meaning by moving away from any potentially symbolic meaning and vividly towards the literal. This is the reverse of his general method of teaching, and a clear indication that he meant himself to be taken quite literally. In other words, "Hey, I really meant it!" This is the only time disciples left him over a doctrinal issue.
And at the time of the Last Supper, there were over three dozen Aramaic words to say "this means," "represents," or "signifies," but Jesus used none of them. He said, "This is my body."
Now, imagine how much insight we could gain if we could speak with St. John himself and ask him what he understood our Lord to mean. Well, this is exactly what the Fathers of the Church were able to do. St. Ignatius of Antioch was a disciple of St. John, and St. Ignatius is not silent on the subject. He writes:
1 Cor 10:16 - "The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?"
1 Cor 10:17 - "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread."
Further, in 1 Cor 11:20-22 Paul explicitly mocks those who treat the Lord's supper as a common meal in fellowship. And in 1 Cor 11:27 Paul makes clear that eating the bread unworthily is akin to killing Christ. How can this be so if the Lord's supper is "the intaking of the Living Word of God, [the Bible] into us"? Aren't the very people who should be taking in the Bible, by definition, unworthy? "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick."
However, I do think you are only a few verses off from the key. John 1:29 is absolutely beautiful. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Even my meager grasp of its transcendent grace devastates me beyond words. Which is why I would simply refer you back to Ex. 12:5-7 to see that it is necessary for Christians to eat the paschal lamb.
I agree that why Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedith from the mouth of God.
Just because it is spiritual does not mean that it not literal. Something to think about.
I don't follow your point. You agree with what?
Just because it is spiritual does not mean that it not literal. Something to think about.
Are you saying that you now agree with the literal (Catholic) interpretation of John 6? I don't follow your point.